Sports

Ten Foot Mailbag: Bud Selig’s Reign Of Terror Is Over

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Bud Selig. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bud Selig. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Tim Baffoe - clean background Tim Baffoe
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa before earning his de...
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By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Our long national nightmare shall soon come to an end. Allan Huber Selig, known affectionately to the giant imaginary rabbit he talks to at night as “Bud,” the worst commissioner of my sporting fan lifetime, has finally announced that he’ll be hanging up his jowls after the 2014 season.

“It remains my great privilege to serve the game I have loved throughout my life,” Selig said in a statement. “Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, and I look forward to continuing its extraordinary growth and addressing several significant issues during the remainder of my term.”

That’s a lie. He’ll do nothing significant to combat the game’s biggest problem—PED use—just as he went from quietly condoning it in the 1990s to now going all KGB on it today. He’ll be paraded around on a corny farewell tour from ballpark to ballpark getting lame gifts from teams while players pleasantly clap and mumble behind performance-enhanced smiles that they hate this man.

And he won’t remove the All-Star Game determines World Series home field advantage rule—the worst in sports—or allow for Hall of Fame consideration to Shoeless Joe Jackson or Pete Rose. Get the hell out of baseball, clown.

Weekend. He gone.

On to your correspondence.

If athletic department or school staff were to be found as having been involved in trying to cover up the incident or tamper with evidence, I would think so. Based solely on what we’ve seen with Penn State, if Vanderbilt school employees placed football or business ahead of the well-being of a sexual assault victim, not only should they be held legally responsible but also suffer consequences that directly impact the football program besides the dismissal of players or staff.

The school has dismissed some players accused of having various roles in the alleged sexual assault of a woman, which while Vanderbilt will call that the ethical thing to do, it is also a preemptive strike to show the NCAA it is not trying to insulate itself or back potential criminals. At the same time the school has been praised for its response to the matter. What the school should be very scared of is whether or not head coach James Franklin saw video evidence of the incident and/or encouraged destroying that evidence, as has been reported, though the coach denies that.

The case is an ugly one that will probably only get uglier and more complicated. But the NCAA certainly cannot ignore it if it’s found that school employees did anything to mess with this case.

I spent two years at a high school that used the most offensive Indian slur as its nickname for years before changing it to Redhawks. The name change was met with anger from some alumni because of course changing the nickname of a high school team erases everything you did in high school and amputates a piece of your self-worth because you’re not very intelligent. Today hardly a person affiliated with the school cares or even remembers the old name.

It’s a special kind of crazy that a) believes naming a team after an existing racial or ethnic group is just fine and/or b) that has a vitriolic reaction to the changing of a team name—something that has zero to do with how well an athlete performs. “But the name represents history!” Yes, a bad, ignorant history. Congrats on celebrating that and being too obtuse to understand your [Oppressive Racist Nickname] will score as many points as if they were named the Bulldogs or the Squirrels or the Genocidal Land Stealers.

And as Barry Temkin wrote in that link from sixteen years ago, schools are supposed to teach. So in having an offensive nickname on the school level, let alone the professional one, what message is being conveyed to kids, even passively or subliminally. It would seem to be one of ignorance.

I was not aware of the latter, but holy hell is that awful. So now you’ve made me Google this and now smash things within arm’s reach. Why why why?

It was just a simple strategy,” said lover of Bud Selig and soulless quantifier of things that don’t need quantifying, Darren Rovell. “Before I announced [his daughter’s] name to the select people [which is ‘Harper,’ because To Kill a Mockingbird is such a manifesto of sports and capitalism]— before maybe it could get out — I locked down her name at Gmail, her dot-com, her Twitter handle. It was just an intellectual capital investment.”

I sort of get what Rovell did because I understand that even when it comes to his own spawn Rovell is constantly branding and commodifying, not that it makes me any less face-palmy.  “When do you become a brand?” he pondered. “Some people say it’s for people who achieved something. I would argue that in some sense you become a brand the second you’re born.” Thanks for working to make me the very predestined thing Aldous Huxley feared, dad!

The rest of these awful parents doing this to give their infant a “voice”—I hate you. Think about how you’d respond if your parents made your childhood overly public. Know how we all see old pics of ourselves as little kids and roll our eyes at clothing that was borderline child abuse and wish most of the photos didn’t exist? Well, you’re doing that with your kids a hundredfold and to a wider audience.

Your child is not special, and the vast majority of us are indifferent to what is its mundane existence. Nothing about it separates it from any other drooling, pooping thing unless it’s Lee Corso. Wolves would eat your child in the woods just like any other. The baby is not cuter than the rest (and it likely is uglier). The world at large does not love it. Stop forcing the child into some internet pseudo-celebrity that is really a sad extension of your fragile ego looking for praise for creating the miracle of life for the multi-billionth time. Tweeting incredibly painfully unfunny things in “its” baby voice, chronicling its awkward life journey on Facebook—your child will hate you for all this someday. I hope the foundation for a serious complex you’re building in your kid is worth some RTs and Likes from people who are doing it for your approval or affection themselves.

As far as naming a pet after an athlete, that’s fine. Don’t do that for your kid, though.

And here’s your Angry Penn State Fan of the Week:

Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.

Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to tenfootmailbag@gmail.com or tweet them to @TimBaffoe with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.

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